“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” – Alan Watts
“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.” – Eckhart Tolle
Our Responsibility Since Creation
Ancient wisdom holds that humans were created to be the caretakers of the Earth. We were placed here on this planet in order to care for its plants and animals, to protect its natural beauty, to show respect and gratitude for all the abundance that the Earth gives us every day.
Scientists are discovering now that everything in the Universe vibrates at one frequency or another. That includes human beings. Think of your heartbeat, your breathing, your cycles of waking and sleeping. These are vibrations. All things vibrate differently, so we may not be able to sense the vibrations of a rock or a tree as easily as we can feel the natural rhythms of other creatures similar to us: The heartbeat of a dog, the pace of a galloping horse, the buzz of a bee.
Ancient wisdom, and many Indigenous people today, bear witness to the fact that even inanimate objects have vibrational energy. Even modern scientific findings, such as superstring theory, support the idea that vibrations are at the core of all existence. The vibrations are there, but in modern culture we are not taught to hone the senses that can detect this type of energy. And so for most of us, it goes unnoticed. But if we stop and think for a minute, we can begin to recognize the ebb and flow of the natural world all around us. Flowers that open and close, cycles of birth and death, the tides, the migration of birds, weather patterns cycling from sun to rain and back to sun, the seasons, the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, even the expansion and contraction of the universe—all of these are vibrations, on smaller or larger scales.
Arkan Lushwala, in his book The Time of the Black Jaguar, states: “[Humankind was created] with the mission to care for the rest of Creation through the power of their heart and their capacity to produce refined vibrations. … Keeping this memory alive in their heart and signing it back to all that lives became their gift, their mission, and the foundation of a beautiful way of life.”
Humans were given the responsibility of all the vibrations on Earth. It was our honor and task to literally keep the Universe humming with its essential life force.
How Our Ancestors Cared for the Universe
Ancient humans felt (and many Indigenous people today feel) a burning responsibility to show their respect, honor, and gratitude to Nature, to the Universe, and to Mother Earth which gave them life. And so they created rituals involving singing, dancing, lighting fires, and different types of prayer. These activities raised the vibration of the Earth and all life. Their actions, carried out with great love and gratitude in their hearts, reinforced and strengthened the forces of nature all around them. In turn, the Earth and the Universe protected and supported the humans, sharing with them the great abundance of existence.
“It is commonly known by indigenous people that high-frequency vibrations activate consciousness, nourish what is hungry or weak, heal what is sick, and invite in the most luminous forces of Nature.”
– Arkan Lushwala
Some cultures also reflected this responsibility in their buildings and sacred sites.
The ancient Egyptians built massive pyramids, the construction of which was virtually impossible based on the technology of their time. These buildings were aligned with the constellations and named after the shining light of the sun. Lushwala theorizes that the humans who designed the Egyptian pyramids as well as the ancient temples in Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, and other places were creating “sacred mirrors to produce and freely share high-frequency vibrations.”
“They built a world on Earth which was like a mirror where the cosmic dance could reflect itself and resonate, and where all beings could receive the nourishment of this vibration.”
– Arkan Lushwala
And so, we know from the wisdom of these people who lived thousands of years ago, that we as human beings on Earth, share an intrinsic responsibility to protect and care for the land.
We Are Failing as Caretakers
But today, due to a global economy driven by wealth and greed, humans are destroying the environment and with it the natural balance of give-and-take between man and nature. Generally, worldwide, we are taking from the Earth far more than we are giving back to Her through respect and love.
At the same time, the indigenous cultures of the world—the groups who hold the ancient wisdom and in many cases still practice the ancient healing rituals that are so desperately needed—are disappearing. For example, National Geographic states that 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been cleared in the past 50 years. The areas that are being cleared include the ancestral territory of many Indigenous communities that depend entirely on the surrounding environment for their food, water, medicines, and general health and well-being. As Indigenous people are increasingly threatened, their populations decline and their traditions become diluted as they are exposed to the modern world. Their young people may trade in the traditional language, songs, and prayers for a modern education and the ability to speak Spanish or English. And as the older generations die off, worlds of ancient knowledge are being lost or abandoned.
What happens as these important rituals are lost? What is the effect on the Universe when fewer and fewer people are left who know the ancient ways of singing and dancing to honor the ground that we walk upon and the animals and plants that provide our nourishment?
Is that shift at the core of what is happening to the Earth now?
Arkan says that “When forgetting to nourish the forms of life that nourish us, everything beings to decay and lose its radiance. Humankind has consumed millions of tons of resources taken from the planet during the last decades … There isn’t any consistent practice or tradition used for compensating the Earth for all that is taken from Her.”
What can we do to reconnect with the Earth and restore the brilliant vibration of all life, to give strength back to our world when people have already taken so much? For if we can find a way to give back to the Earth, then She will most certainly have more abundance to share with us, and humans can live in increased prosperity (richness of mind, body, and heart) instead of being caught up in endless war, greed, and fear as much of the world is today.
Our Responsibility Today
Evolutionary Activism is a rising movement based on the idea that we, as humans, are aware of evolution and our place in the circle of life. We are the universe becoming aware of itself. Ancient wisdom tells us that we were meant to be caretakers of the Earth, and so our consciousness points us toward an extraordinary responsibility to create a better world for all beings.
Bill Twist, co-founder and Executive Director of the Pachamama Alliance, referencing the late ecotheologian Thomas Berry states:
“Thomas Berry says that the great work that we are facing at this time of evolution is for our species to make the transition from being a destructive presence on the planet to a mutually enhancing human-earth relationship.
… To really engage with the questions of creating a mutually-enhancing human-earth relationship, it is going to require tremendous boldness, tremendous brashness, tremendous commitment to get at the core of what needs to be engaged with.”
Worldwide today, groups advocating for transformational social change are already impacting our world in significant ways. Movements such as Buen Vivir and Deep Ecology are calling for a change from the current paradigm to one of respect for nature; a shift away from consumption and consumerism and toward a more holistic view of humans' place on the Earth.
In closing, consider this poem from the Teton Sioux people, which beautifully expresses their ancient relationship with the land.
The old people came literally to love the soil, and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth.
Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest upon the earth, and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew.
The soul was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing. This is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly.
He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.
- Chief Luther Standing Bear, Teton Sioux, Born 1868